3. Find out if you belong to a vulnerable group

How do I apply for a legal aid certificate?
This question has an answer and 5 steps

3. Find out if you belong to a vulnerable group

You may get a legal aid certificate because you’re a member of a vulnerable group. This includes some people who are:

  • experiencing family violence
  • identify as First Nation, Inuit, or Métis
  • dealing with mental health issues
  • dealing with addiction issues

Family violence

If you’ve experienced domestic abuse and need legal help right away, you can get a lawyer through the Family Violence Authorization Program. This program gives you 2 hours of free legal help. It is offered through some women’s shelters, community legal clinics, and Family Law Service Centres. You can call LAO toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 to find out more.

You may also need legal help if you’ve been charged with assault while trying to defend yourself from your abusive partner.

Indigenous people

If you identify as First Nation, Inuit, or Métis, tell your lawyer or duty counsel right away. You may have more rights in some areas of law. Also, your circumstances may affect how your legal issues are handled. But you must still meet LAO’s financial eligibility requirements.

Mental health and addiction issues

You may get a legal aid certificate to help you with your mental health hearing or appeal.

If you’ve been admitted to a mental health facility or are getting treatment at a facility, talk to a patient advocate or rights advisor. They will give you information about getting legal help.

If you’re in a correctional facility, ask to talk to someone from LAO about applying for a legal aid certificate.

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Reviewed: August 23, 2019

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